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The AP Katrina Video

"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage."
posted by muckster on Mar 2, 2006 - 162 comments

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank A developing online resource for the collection and interpretation of photos, stories, maps, audio files, and other information related to the hurricanes of 2005. The project was created as a partnership between the University of New Orleans, the Smithsonian/American History and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the same people who created the September 11 Digital Archive.
posted by Miko on Jan 16, 2006 - 3 comments

Nutts!

Finis Shellnutt has had a rather interesting life. The apparent principal source for the 'bands of looters killing police' meme seems to have some connections to that thing they called the Iran-Contra affair as well as being this guy's brother-in-law and the husband of a certain special someone.
posted by well_balanced on Jan 6, 2006 - 11 comments

Photographer's account of Katrina

When the levees broke, he looked for was his camera and a boat. This Times-Picayune photographer tells his story of what happened next.
posted by Pacheco on Dec 13, 2005 - 2 comments

Hometown loss

Images of the Lower 9th Ward by Trent Reznor.
posted by setanor on Nov 1, 2005 - 55 comments

2005 Hurricane Season

From Arlene to Wilma. Very cool little NASA visualization of the 21 named storms from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Oct 20, 2005 - 30 comments

TeslaFinger

"Undeclared Global Weather War" : you're now living in a bad James Bond flick Yeah, I know: a Hoagland morass.'Cept there's that damn pending weather mod bill in Congress, the anomalous "tuning fork" patterns that seem to guide recent hurricanes ( see main link, esp. Ophelia footage ) , the USAF document, "Weather as a Force Multiplier", the '97 quote by Secretary of defense William Cohen..... Is somebody lobbing Hurricanes at the US ? Weather sure has been weird, I'll say that. Could it be......TeslaFinger™ ?
posted by troutfishing on Oct 19, 2005 - 52 comments

The birth of Hurricane Wilma?

The birth of Hurricane Wilma? Tropical Depression 24 is expected to become Tropical Storm Wilma by Monday, and forecasters are predicting that it will turn into the Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures and other conditions are favorable for it to develop into a large, slow moving hurricane. Oil futures have already started going up in response to the threat.
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 17, 2005 - 45 comments

Guatemala flooding

DisasterFilter: 1250 dead, hundreds of thousands homeless. Though it pales in comparison to the death toll in Pakistan, and though it’s not as close (or visible) as the damage done by Rita and Katrina, the devastation due to Hurricane Stan has been, well, devastating in rural Guatemala, especially around Lake Atitlan.
posted by MrMoonPie on Oct 12, 2005 - 10 comments

Shouldn't it be Vincente?

An odd hurricane season becomes odder. Meet Vince, the 23rd tracked topical low, and the 21st named storm of the near record setting 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season. But, where is he? Not here. Not even way over here. No, Vince is way over here -- and is headed towards Spain. Of course, this isn't the oddest place for a tropical cyclone. There was Catarina last year, forming the first hurricane ever recorded in the South Atlantic, and never mind what, to all eyes, appears to have been a hurricane in the Mediterranean Sea.
posted by eriko on Oct 9, 2005 - 30 comments

Live TV through the hurricane

Watching Rita: How does it feel to be broadcasting live in a hurricane? KPLC in Lake Charles, Louisiana is finding out. Broadcasting from the fifth floor of St. Patrick's Hospital, the station is really getting the luck of the Irish in broadcasting on the air and online with primitive technology. (direct link)
posted by calwatch on Sep 24, 2005 - 6 comments

Watching Rita, some models

Noted in the live stream from this TV station This is the "Local2 News" live tv stream (which has been pointed to in three previous MeFi threads about other news stories. Currently they've from time to time been showing storm track predictive models (which they say are their own development). I'd rather have pointers to more models than the TV station's occasional glimpses, but, this is the most varied set of storm track predictions I've seen. Anyone know where they're getting them?
posted by hank on Sep 22, 2005 - 24 comments

Hurricane Rita is now the third most powerful in recorded history

Wasting away in Ritaville
Might as well start the deluge of Rita posts with this one. Rita is the most intense storm to threaten the US since Gilbert in 1988 and it threatens Galveston Bay directly. In direct path of the storm are oil refineries processing over two million barrels of oil a day which is 26 percent of the US refining capacity. In addition the area expected to be hit (pdf) by a potential twenty-two foot storm surge has a higher population than New Orleans.

This storm has caused an unprecedented evacuation of the southern parts of Houston. Interstate 45 has been opened in both directions to north-bound traffic for the first time ever. Tales of twelve to sixteen hour drives to outlying cities are common.

One of the blogs I read daily posted this morning that it is likely he will lose his house in twelve-plus feet of water. I left Houston last night and am staying with friends in Austin now, well out of the way of the storm. Other tales are sure to come.

Will the lessons of Katrina help Houston to recover from the storm? Will the response from FEMA be better because of the heat from Katrina or will the Republican voting area and Tom DeLay's district factor into the relief effort?
posted by DragonBoy on Sep 22, 2005 - 135 comments

It Can't Taste THAT Bad

Tons of British Food for Katrina Victims to be Incinerated (link to Mirror article)
More red tape embarrassment for the Katrina relief effort. This time, tons of food donated by the UK is set to be incinerated rather than delivered to hungry evacuees. The FDA recalled the food rations, which had been loaded onto trucks and sent out for distribution, because they had been "condemned as unfit for human consumption". Never mind the glaring fact that these are the same food rations being eaten by British soldiers in Iraq right now.
posted by fenriq on Sep 20, 2005 - 82 comments

Not-so-lovely Rita

Got off the phone with my dad a little after midnight. He said, "It looks like this is finally the big one we've been talking about all these years..." Will the town made famous by Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Jimmy Buffet, Mel Fisher, and, er, Pat Croce be the next metropolitan casualty?
posted by soyjoy on Sep 20, 2005 - 55 comments

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
posted by Postroad on Sep 15, 2005 - 43 comments

After The Flood - Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans

After The Flood Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans. We give people who were in the storm more time than daily news coverage can to tell their stories and talk about what they're thinking. This leads to a number of ideas that haven't made it into the regular news coverage. The most recent episode of This American Life is now up on their website--This American Life is one of the best programs on public radio and this was one of their best episodes ever. It is well worth a listen.
posted by y2karl on Sep 13, 2005 - 24 comments

Heck of a Job, Brownie

Michael Brown resigns from FEMA
posted by me3dia on Sep 12, 2005 - 95 comments

Back to the horsing circuit with you

Michael Brown, head of FEMA is relieved of duties. After a rocky week and increasing doubts about his background and experience (like a padded resume), Brown gets pulled from FEMA duty. Pretty surprising to see, given that the "CEO President" proclaimed "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" just a few days ago.
posted by mathowie on Sep 9, 2005 - 216 comments

Maple Leaf Neighborhourliness

Vancouver's elite Urban SAR team has been and returned, having helped out in New Orleans in the way they were trained. There's more help on the way from Canada, in the form of Operation Unison; this includes a a Canadian Navy flotilla consisting of the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, the frigates HMCS Toronto and HMCS Ville de Quebec and the Canadian Coast Guard boat tender HMCS Sir William Alexander. The flotilla carries around 1000 servicepeople, many of them medical and rescue specialists, in addition to engineering and construction crews. Additionally, forty Canadian navy clearance divers will be accompanying the relief force. Despite recent diplomatic spats between our two nations (notably over Iraq, cattle and softwood lumber) we remain good neighbours. After U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci's departure Canada was awaiting an even worse adversary in replacement Ambassador Wilkins. And yet, despite Wilkin's lack of knowledge of things Canadian, he appears to have a significantly greater measure of humility than dick-swinging Cellucci ever did. In any case, as "irrelevant and disappointing" as Canada is to the likes of Bill O'Reilly, we're on our way to help our friends to the south.
posted by illiad on Sep 8, 2005 - 51 comments

Losing New Orleans

Losing New Orleans: Four months before it happened, I described for a New York editor, in detail and with stunning accuracy, the tragedy that is now unfolding in New Orleans.
In April, I e-mailed the editor my proposal. Two weeks later, she sent her response. As much as I hate saying this,” she wrote, “the only way for this book to actually work is if New Orleans had already sunk.” I’d like to know what “transportation security” meant to Mr. Hutchinson, if it did not include the concept of evacuating a stricken city, or protecting its great port, or safeguarding the third of our nation’s fuel that enters by way of New Orleans?
If I, a reporter in Little Rock, with nothing more than Internet access, a car and a telephone, could predict, almost hour-by-hour, the horror that Katrina would unleash, what were Hutchinson and his cronies at Homeland Security doing with all the assets at their disposal and nearly $40 billion in funding?
posted by thisisdrew on Sep 8, 2005 - 71 comments

Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories

Beyond Incompetence Reading the news after the Katrina Hurricane and the lack-of-response disaster, a pattern began to emerge. Mainstream media compilation - Collective Bellaciao via xymphora, which has several other uniquely critical posts on Katrina
posted by ism on Sep 7, 2005 - 29 comments

Reporters covering Katrina receiving trauma assistance

The New York Times is offering Katrina reporters trauma counselling. Reporters covering warzones in Iraq, Chechnya and the Sudan were not offered near-mandatory trauma counselling by the newspaper of record.

Journalists in Lousiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast were.

"In fact, the circumstances were so shocking to reporters that according to one staff member, The New York Times e-mailed information about dealing with trauma to reporters in the field, outlining warning signs; employee-assistance counselors also placed calls to reporters."
posted by huskerdont on Sep 7, 2005 - 35 comments

How Cuba handles hurricanes

Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Hurricane Risk Reduction from Cuba [pdf] Oxfam America report described Cuba's community-based response system in April 2004, five months before category 5 hurricane Ivan tore across the island but resulted in zero deaths. From Medicc Review: "Of those evacuated, fully 78%...were sheltered in the homes of family, friends or neighbors. 8,026 tourists were transferred to safe areas. 359,644 boarding school students were transferred to their homes. 898,160 farm animals in vulnerable areas were moved to safer ground." The International Red Cross had similar praise for Cuba's planning after Hurricane Michelle in 2001: " The contrast between events in Cuba and earlier disasters, such as Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 and the floods in Venezuela in 1999, is enormous."
posted by mediareport on Sep 6, 2005 - 34 comments

No word on chopped off ring fingers, either

Rape rumors false? No word on turnstyle jumping or wearing of heavy coats . . . (via)
posted by hackly_fracture on Sep 6, 2005 - 38 comments

Firefighters to dispense fliers, not fight fires

"As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 6, 2005 - 148 comments

BEHIND THE CURTAIN....

BEHIND THE CURTAIN.... George Bush's photo-op tour of New Orleans yesterday has apparently driven Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu over the edge. Today she blasted FEMA for its feeble response to Hurricane Katrina and Bush for his phony, stage managed promises of action:
posted by Postroad on Sep 5, 2005 - 133 comments

From the If You Can't Beat 'Em Department

Is the former Republican mayor of New Orleans really blameless? Not by a long shot. From lefty blog Lenin's Tomb, which points to evidence that New Orleans officials "never put plans into place" to evacuate the poorest of the poor. [thanks, Aknaton]
posted by mediareport on Sep 4, 2005 - 70 comments

The Two Americas

Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go. Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes... "Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable.. Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin." They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed.

The Two Americas. See also A Nation's Castaways, 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked' & White Man's Burden
posted by y2karl on Sep 4, 2005 - 69 comments

OMG, ANOTHER Hurricane Katrina Post

As reported by New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO / ABC26 LA National Guard Wants Equipment to Come Back From Iraq
posted by theora55 on Sep 4, 2005 - 11 comments

Missing bus contracts?

A cached google page says Loyola thought the city of New Orleans contracted with private companies for hurricane evacuation. Did I miss something? Where we these mysterious buses? From here and here.
posted by nospecialfx on Sep 4, 2005 - 15 comments

Americans do the darndest things

America bands together to support the hurricane victims via ebay.
posted by zerokey on Sep 3, 2005 - 13 comments

little somalia?

"Little Somalia" is how The Army Times has characterized post-Katrina New Orleans. And this isn't about race?
posted by brookish on Sep 3, 2005 - 35 comments

Vote Blue? No help for you!

The Red Cross has been ordered to stay out of New Orleans. Critical firefighting equipment is being left untouched. Chicago's offer of manpower and equipment is "snubbed" by FEMA, according to the Mayor. FEMA "forgets" to tell the military to airdrop food and water to the survivors. Northern Command has been ready for days, just waiting for the President to give the orders. Feds delayed paperwork giving permission for National Guard to act. Louisiana begged for federal help on Sunday in a formal request, but the Bush administration says they didn't know anything about problems until Wednesday. Meanwhile, reporters apparently grow weary of the spin doctors.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 3, 2005 - 186 comments

The Matrix shatters in New Orleans

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman on Sep 3, 2005 - 100 comments

oh jeez.

Kanye West gets twitchy on Red Cross Benefit Oh goodness. The young prankster in me loves this kind of thing. The boring matured realist version of me finds this divisive bumper-stickerism toxic to our modern political dialogue. And worse still I see the following scenario unfold: Kanye West: "George Bush doesn't care about black people". Cut to: My mother-in-law in front of the tv, slowly putting her checkbook back into her purse.
posted by glenwood on Sep 2, 2005 - 187 comments

Reality versus DC -

CNN of all places has a great overview of the BS coming out of washington about Katrina - "security is really good", the bodies in the convention center are "rumors" - versus reports from the ground. Fantasy land.
posted by brookish on Sep 2, 2005 - 89 comments

Ray Nagin lays it down: you must hear this

They are feeding the public a line of bull, and they are spinning, and people are dying down here: A post with a link to MP3 of an explosive WWL radio interview in which New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has a message for politicians: "I don't want to see anybody do any more goddamned press conferences... put a moratorium on press conferences, don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city, and then come down to this city and stand with us... Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here - they're not here; it's too doggoned late. Now get off your asses and let's do something..."
posted by taz on Sep 2, 2005 - 560 comments

PZB Bug out with cats

Horror writer Poppy Z Brite is a NOLA resident affected by Katrina. Here's some journal entries.
posted by nyxxxx on Sep 1, 2005 - 18 comments

"It doesn't make sense to me."

"It doesn't make sense to me." Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert weighs in on rebuilding New Orleans during an interview (bugmenot) by the Chigago Daily Herald. "It doesn’t make sense to me, and it’s a question that certainly we should ask. . . First of all your heart goes out to the people, the loss of their homes . . . but there are some real tough questions to ask about how you go about rebuilding this city. We help replace, we help relieve disaster . . . (Rebuilding) is certainly the decision the people of New Orleans are going to make. . . But I think federal insurance and everything goes along with it and we ought to take a second look at it. . . How do you go about rebuilding this city? What precautions do you take? . . . It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed. . . But you know we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness." Dennis Hastert was a sponsor of the legislation that cut the funding needed to upgrade New Orleans levee system to withstand category 5 hurricanes. He also failed to vote on legislation this year which would've provided additional funds for the Army Corps of Engineers.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 1, 2005 - 98 comments

yup--Halliburton's there

The business of rebuilding --A range of companies that are expected to play a role in repairing damage, clearing debris and restoring power to the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast ... Some are saying that Katrina could actually boost the Gulf Coast's economic growth for the next few years, while others are forecasting higher energy prices, commodity shortages--and even steeper coffee prices. Worse, the storm may blast inflation throughout the economy.
posted by amberglow on Sep 1, 2005 - 17 comments

Photos from Katrina's wake

Some of the best still images of what remains in Hurricane Katrina's wake are up over at the Washington Post; there are a lot of compelling shots there that put into perspective the horror of the situation. If you're looking for a well-edited group of photos that convey what the Gulf coast has faced over the past few days, and will face in the coming months, this is it; I'm in awe of the photographers that continue to work hard to document the disaster.
posted by delfuego on Sep 1, 2005 - 48 comments

Louisiana National Guard

Louisiana National Guard radio [ShoutCAST MPEG]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Sep 1, 2005 - 26 comments

Drowning New Orleans

Drowning New Orleans [2001]A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city By Mark Fischetti
posted by Postroad on Sep 1, 2005 - 91 comments

Still going...

Everyone is (probably) familiar with Something Awful. However, you may not be familiar with their hosting company - located in a New Orleans office building on Poydras in the CBD... but have you noticed that SA hasn't gone blank yet? It's because Zipa, and directNIC upstairs have the whole data center disaster contingency thing on lockdown. Blog and pictures from the directNIC guys are regularly updated. Color me impressed.
posted by kuperman on Aug 31, 2005 - 69 comments

Hurricane Data Smashed Offline by Katrina

National Data Buoy Center (Google cache), "the premiere source of meteorological and oceanographic measurements for the marine environment" in the U.S., is located at the NASA Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi gulf coast, is a primary source of hurricane observational data, and is currently offline. At present, the U.S. spends only $50 million annually on ocean observations of vital socio-economic impact. The latest national commission for ocean policy recommended $4 billion annually, including the construction of a distributed, disaster-proof, national ocean observing system, as a component of a global system. The previous ocean commission report in 1969 resulted in the formation of NOAA and the passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Will Congress act? The E.U. has.
posted by 3.2.3 on Aug 31, 2005 - 6 comments

Liberating the Loaves of Bread

Black people loot, white people borrow. Racist photo captions by Yahoo News/AP illuminate more than Katrina's aftermath. If these pictures are taken down, there are mirrors right here.
posted by bairey on Aug 30, 2005 - 211 comments

oops.

Let the bush bashing begin. Funding for work on New Orleans' flood prevention system slowed to a trickle in 2003, and many people (long before Monday) claimed that was due to the Iraq war. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Aug 30, 2005 - 181 comments

Live Local Coverage Of Hurricane Katrina

Live Local Coverage Of Hurricane Katrina New Orleans television stations WWL and WDSU are providing nonstop live coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Department Of Transportation has live cams along the major highways which show the massive evacuation of the coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi including the metropolitan areas of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With gusts of 207 MPH this could set a new record for the largest hurricane to ever hit the United States.
posted by robliberal on Aug 28, 2005 - 624 comments

Katrina targets New Orleans.

Katrina targets New Orleans. Mandatory evacuations have been declared, and contraflow evacuation routes are in effect near New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina, a very wet, drenching hurricane, approaches the city from the Gulf of Mexico, where it is gaining in size and strength, with an estimated 45% chance of making landfall as a category 4 or 5 hurricane. The computer models suggest that New Orleans will sustain a direct hit from Katrina, which could be "The Big One" warned about by experts, capable of flooding the city, polluting it with industrial waste, and even flooding the pump stations, leaving it incapable of pumping out the water. The hurricane is predicted to make landfall early Monday near Port Fourchon, which handles approximately 13% of U.S. oil imports, and 27% of U.S. domestic production.
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 27, 2005 - 272 comments

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